Closing Time 8/2: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Tuesday

Welcome to Closing Time where every Tuesday Justin Perri checks in on everything saves related. All the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security,...

Welcome to Closing Time where every Tuesday Justin Perri checks in on everything saves related. All the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk, accompanied by who is most likely to assume the closer role in the event of a change in the hierarchy. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the rest of the season.

Share your questions and critiques in the comments, I’ll be sure to respond. Follow me on twitter @Just_In_Relief for occasional notes on bullpen happenings through a fantasy lens. Let’s get to it.


1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Blanton or Liberatore

2. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) – Addison Reed

3. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) – Darren O’Day

4. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians) – Cody Allen

5. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins) – Fernando Rodney

6. Aroldis Chapman (Chicago Cubs) – Hector Rondon


7. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees) – Adam Warren

8. Mark Melancon (Washington Nationals) – Jonathan Papelbon

9. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals) – Kevin Siegrist

10. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox) – Brad Ziegler

11. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) – Justin Wilson

12. Tony Watson (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Neftali Feliz

13. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners) – Tom Wilhelmsen


14. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants) – Sergio Romo

15. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – Nate Jones

16. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays) – Jason Grilli

17. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals) – Joakim Soria

18. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers) – Jeremy Jeffress

19. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris

20. Tyler Thornburg (Milwaukee Brewers) – Corey Knebel


21. Will Harris (Houston Astros) – Ken Giles

22. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays) – Xavier Cedeno

23. Jake Barrett (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Daniel Hudson

24. Carlos Estevez (Colorado Rockies) – Adam Ottavino or Jason Motte

25. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins) – Alex Presley


26. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres) – Ryan Buchter

27. Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels) – Cam Bedrosian

28. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds) – Rasiel Iglesias

29. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics) – Ryan Dull

30. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves) – Chris Withrow or Mauricio Cabrera

TIER 6 – Speculative

31. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

32. Jeremy Jeffress (Texas Rangers)

33. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

34. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels)

35. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)

36. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

37. Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies)

38. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

39. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)

40. Jonathon Papelbon (Washington Nationals)

41. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

42. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

43. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

44. Rasiel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

45. Jason Grilli (Toronto Blue Jays)

46. Sergio Romo (San Francisco Giants)

47. Mauricio Cabrera (Atlanta Braves)

48. Jason Motte (Colorado Rockies)


– Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins) OUT FOR THE SEASON

Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

Koji Uehara (Boston Red Sox)

Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals)


– Where to even start today… Probably with Andrew Miller, after assuming the closer role for the Yankees for an afternoon or two, Miller was shipped off to the Indians at the deadline. The impact of trading a closer is always widespread, here Miller will take the job from Cody Allen and in New York Dellin Betances becomes the closer on a team that pretty much sold everything.

– The Yankees then went and got Tyler Clippard who was closing for the Diamondbacks. With his departure it seems like there will be a committee in Arizona but my pick to emerge as the closer is one Jake Barrett, as Daniel Hudson just has not been great of late and Enrique Burgos, a pitcher that is reported to be in the mix, does not seem to have the same stuff as Barrett. Barrett is probably available in your league if it isn’t crazy deep for saves.

Mark Melancon was traded to the Nationals to bolster their bullpen, which he will. Great add, Jonathan Papelbon had been pretty terrible and this team wants to win. Marky mark will help them do just that. The trade leaves the closer role open for Tony Watson to start getting some saves. I like Watson and expect him to perform well in the 9th.

Jeremy Jeffress was traded to the Texas rangers and will not force Sam Dyson from his role. However this opens up the door for Tyler Thornburg in Milwaukee who has been having a nice season. He has a nice strikeout rate and should get a fair amount of saves the rest of the way.

Injury news to go along with the trades: Craig Kimbrel is back; he struck out three last night to pick up his 18th save. This bumps Brad Ziegler back to the setup role.

– On the flip side, Wade Davis is back on the DL which means that Kelvin Herrera is again closing for the Royals while Davis figures out the flexor strain in his throwing arm. The team seems hopeful that they get their closer back when he’s available on the 12th of August.

– The final change in the closers comes in Seattle, where Steve Cishek was flat out removed from the closer role due to back-to-back losses and just not being good enough, essentially. You know who is good enough? Edwin Diaz, that’s who. I’ve been raving about this kid since he showed up on the holds scene and now he’ll be picking up saves instead. If for whatever reason he is available go get him. Strikeouts accounted for 13 of his last 19 outs.

– I’m becoming a big fan of Cam Bedrosian, I know that the Angels have said that Street will not be removed but this dude is going to make it difficult. Even with the reports backing up Street, I still think this kid could supplant the current Angels closer some time soon.

That sums it up for this week on Closing Time. Be sure to give me a follow and ask me questions @Just_In_Relief. Look out for my next article on Thursday and as always feel free to leave your questions, comments and concerns down below – I’ll be sure to respond.

Justin Perri (@Just_In_Relief) is a writer for Pitcher List, a New Yorker and a lifelong fan of baseball. He can be found walking around the Bronx looking for the glory that once was the Yankees or obsessively watching The Office. 

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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